Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Are you Ready for the Big Day?

      Saturday marks the annual event of the two biggest rivals in the nation: The Alabama and Auburn football game! ROLL RIDE!!! Oh, did you think I was talking about Thanksgiving? Yea, that too! I'm ready for some football! Do ya'll watch this game? I'm sure you've heard of these two rivals! Sure hope the Tide rolls over the Tigers!

      But seriously, yes, I'm ready for Thanksgiving, are you? I've been getting the house cleaned and things taken upstairs and out of sight, so at least the downstairs looks presentable. I'm thawing a ham, and will be cooking my cornbread and chicken tomorrow. These will be made into chicken and dressing; the best you ever tasted! I am also making mashed potatoes and a special punch the girls usually like at Christmas. It tastes like the punch served at bridal or baby showers. My Mom is cooking the big turkey in the Nesco at her house. She is also making a pecan pie, cranberry salad, and deviled eggs. She like to make these things. Just give me some dressing and cranberry salad and I'll be happy! Do ya'll enjoy dressing or stuffing? I would probably like stuffing if I ever tasted it.

      In the post before this one, I shared a photo of one of the raised beds. It had green in it. Something was actually growing in that mess! It's garlic! I was so excited to separate enough garlic to plant around the perimeter of three raised beds! I hope it produces and makes nice big bulbs! I think I may dehydrate it when it's time to harvest. Or find a recipe to can minced garlic. Do you have a recipe for that? I still have lots of leaves to rake, and I got all but three beds cleaned out! Yay! I would probably have those done but it's been raining, a lot, these past couple of days. Plus, with it being Thanksgiving, I just had too much else to do! I'm even having to walk on the treadmill instead of outside because of the rain or cold. We've been experiencing unusually cold temps for this time of year! They have even predicted light snow for tonight! We may wake up to a light dusting of snow, the day before Thanksgiving! That would be so cool! Except Skylar has an appointment with an oral surgeon to see about getting his wisdom teeth extracted. If we get snow, everything closes around here! That's O.K., we'll just re-schedule!

      I hope ya'll are staying nice and warm and that you'll have a very Happy Thanksgiving! Blessings from Bama!

The making of yogurt. So glad I did this cause I used some in the bread below. It's a little runny but edible.

The best cornbread I ever made! It will be delicious in the chicken and dressing!

Hi Winterlynn! The sun was really streaming in this day! Funny how they'll choose a box over toys any day!

Hi Riley! She's getting an early start in the kitchen!

Sorry about the flash, but I love those smiles!

Reason for the smiles!

The making of baked potato soup!

My bread machine, quick sour dough bread! So delicious!

Monday, November 18, 2013

I'm Climbing Back onto the Homestead Wagon!

      Since facing the discouraging summer of gardening, I felt like I had totally 'fallen off the homesteading wagon'! Well, I'm pleased to announce that I'm climbing back on again! I've been cleaning out the vegetable beds, now that the bugs and chiggers have gone. I am so glad to finally be able to access them! I had to hack my way through the weeds to get to them and I'm still hacking, but at least I'm making progress! It's a good feeling! I am so thankful to be able to do this! If I was working a job outside the home, I probably wouldn't have time to do all these things! Have you ever fallen off the homestead wagon? I'd rather be on that bumpy-riding wagon heading for the wild blue yonder, than sitting by the road, watching everybody else do what I love to do! Is it too early to start seeds indoors? Lol!

      I've been thinking about and praying for the people in the mid-west who were ravaged by devastating tornadoes! Who would have thought tornadoes would go through Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, all the way to New York! We were expecting strong storms here, not there! We didn't get them. They stayed up North. So sorry for those people! I hope none of you were touched by those awful storms!

      The weather has been so nice here today! Sunny, breezy and right below 70. It was somewhat rainy over the weekend and very humid! I guess living in the South, we'll always have humid weather all season long! That's O.K., I guess I'm used to it! 

      I raked leaves to go in the raised beds and got enough to go in the raspberry bed. It could probably use another bag, but my shoulder can only hold up to so much raking! I've used leaves that I raked and bagged last year to fill the beds, so far. I've got about three bags left, so I will have to rake more. With this mild weather, I don't mind. Would you like to come and help me rake leaves?

      We are having Thanksgiving here. I need to get the house cleaned and prepared. But I'd rather be outside! If all goes well, I should be able to do both. At least I can get the dining room table cleaned. It has canning jars that I'm wrapping with newspapers and putting upstairs until summer. And the kitchen island cleared of all the glitter and craft scraps. If I can get that done, then I've accomplished something! Someone want to volunteer to help?

      Ya'll know I'm just kidding, but sometimes a little help wouldn't hurt. Maybe my nieces can help this week. Have a great week! Until next time, Blessings from Bama!

Ground Boston butt I ground to make two different recipes. The one on the left is taco flavored, whereas the one on the right is Italian sausage.

I made a chili pie with the taco flavored one and as you can see, spaghetti sauce with the Italian sausage.

Three raised beds that have been cleaned out and mulched leaves put in.

These are what the beds look like before. These are two beds that I still have yet to clean. You can barely see that they are beds!

Two more beds that need cleaning. See the garlic? I hope it winters well.

This awful mess isn't a bed; just an area in the garden that needs cleaning!

You don't know how good it makes me feel to see these beds cleaned out! I finished the one on the back left today! It was a job!

The one on the left is done, the one on the right is the strawberry bed. Should I move them when I clean them out, or just leave them here? They've been here a couple of years.

I get so dirty doing this, but I love it!

Roasted butternut squash and acorn squash. The acorn squash has cinnamon sugar, and tasted pretty good. I probably won't make it again. The butternut squash is going in a soup.

The making of Kind bars. Randy calibrated my oven and they were overcooked. He needs to fix it back.

Jim Lahey's whole wheat bread. I wanted to try the whole wheat, but I'm just not a fan of whole wheat. I like the unbleached, unbrommated flour best.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Riley and Dad!

      Yes, a couple more birthdays have been celebrated! Riley turned one! We celebrated her birthday this past Saturday, although she turned one on the sixth. She is barely walking and oh so cute! I was busy all last week with party preps and watching the girls some, so I didn't get a chance to write a post. I don't like to skip a week, but sometimes that happens. I know everyone else is probably more busy than me, and somehow they manage to write posts a lot more frequently. I hope to improve on that.

      Today is Veteran's Day and my Dad's birthday! I'm not sure how we'll celebrate, as he, Randy, and Skylar are on the river fishing as I write this post! Maybe we'll go to a local restaurant and eat fish! They don't keep the ones they catch. Fishing is just a sport to them. And Skylar, wow, is he ever getting into the sport! He never used to go fishing with them, then all of a sudden, he started going with them less than a month ago. He catches more fish each time he goes! He's a very fast learner when he puts his mind to something! I wonder if he'll go pro one day!

      It's so hard to believe that Thanksgiving is almost here, then Christmas! The time has really past quickly for me this year! I guess that's how it is when one gets older! Too much to do and not enough time to get it all done! Just like our house; we started building it nine years ago and we still haven't finished it! Too many things take precedence over that at times! We really need to get this house done cause it bothers me a lot! I try not to talk about it and be thankful for where we are, but sometimes all I can see is the unfinished projects. And believe me, there is a lot of them! O.k., enough about that! I am so thankful we live here and not in the old house! The girls have all this area to play and ride the golf cart! They love for Randy to ride them on it! They are growing up too fast! They got up the other day and got dressed and went outside without my assistance! That was a first! You know they are getting to be big girls when they don't need help with pants and shoes! It's amazing how long they will play outside, even on a cool morning! I'm glad they can come here and experience the beauty of the outside world!

      We have one more birthday this week, my brother! His is Saturday and he wants to go to the local steak house for his celebration. I'm glad he's here this year, since he's lived in Mobile for the past years. He hasn't gotten to be here for the holidays, so this year will be special for him. Prayers that he'll find a better job quickly. His hours were cut because of Medicaid, (he's an LPN) and he needs to get something quickly. LPN's are not in as much demand ans RN's. Thanks for praying that God will open the right door for the right job at the right time, for him!

      I'm also heart-broken for the people of the Philippines! I just pray they will be assisted with food and shelter and know that Jesus loves them in spite of what just happened! And we thought our tornadoes were bad!

      I hope ya'll have a great week and nice weather! Our weather has been very mild, seventies, during the day, and cool, thirties-forties at night. I can still wear shorts outside during the day and not be cool! Maybe your weather won't get too cold! Have a great day! Blessings from Bama!

Yasmine helped uncle Randy rotate the tires on Mommy's car! She likes boy stuff!

It doesn't show up much here, but she had grease on her hands and face!

I love Riley's hair like this!

Skylar takes his lunch to school with him everyday, a salad with grilled chicken. I make the ranch dressing with these ingredients.

These are wild plums found on our property! I've been watching them all summer and they finally got ripe. They have a fruity, floral fragrance!

I made this mess! It'definitely looks homemade! I don't like using the alphabet stencil!

The stencil I used on the banner was much bigger and easier to use.

April made the sign-in sheet and the dum-dum bouquet.

The lolli-pops turned out ok.

Walmart made the cakes. Riley got this all over her! April had to bathe her in the sink!

Cute cake!

Gifts waiting to be opened.

The banner turned out nice. I even got a few compliments on it!

April made Riley's tutu! So cute!

The outfit we got her. Daddy loves his baby girl!

I love to watch them go down the hill! Eden came over to play with the girls this day.

Someone gave us this practically brand new tricycle! It's just Layla's size!

Randy likes to run across and they kick him. They love it!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy November First!

      It's in the mid-seventies today and it's hot! I've got the a/c on to cool things down a bit! We are being inundated with ladybugs again! Something about this time of year! I think they are dropped down into heavily treed areas to control the pine beetle. They are all over my house! They get in the house, and they can sting! They leave an awful stench if you touch them! Can I say yuck? Seems like they are here for several months before they disappear again. And we've got kudzu bugs on our Myer lemon tree! They won't harm it, but they too, will sting and leave a stench! Do we always have to deal with bugs? I still get chiggers when I walk through the garden! So annoying! I'll be so glad when Randy mowes it down! How is the bug situation where you live?

      The girls are here napping, so I thought I'd take advantage of my time! I don't have the baby so I'll probably get through this post. We've been eating good here this week! I made some awesome chicken pot pies that were worthy of repeating! So we had them two nights in a row! I also made some awesome black bean soup that was repeated as well. Tonight will hopefully be homemade pizza night. I'm not looking forward to tomorrow! The time moves back and we loose that hour of daylight! Makes for some really short days for while! Fortunately, in late December the days begin to lengthen. 

      I helped April prepare an extra bedroom for Winterlynn's pre-school! It has been so much fun! She's enjoying it and so is April! Now, I'm always looking for ideas that would be helpful in teaching her. I get to do all the fun stuff like printing and laminating! Winterlynn stayed so sick while attending her pre-school, so that was the major factor in setting up a homeschool. Now, hopefully, she won't have to take so many antibiotics! 

      Did ya'll have a good Halloween? We didn't have any trick-or-treaters. We never have! Guess the neighborhood children went somewhere else. The girls are up now so I'll finish! Ya'll have a good weekend! Blessings from Bama!

We went to a Mark Lowry concert last weekend. He's a Christian comedian.

He looks a lot different than he used to, but he still sings very well. Comedy is not what it used to be either.

One of the very few maple trees in our sight.

The leaves are just now getting that fall look I love.

A closer-up of the maple tree.

The look of fall around our house.

In back of the house.

Behind the goat girls.

These pastry sheets made the best chicken pot pie! I will use these again!

The most absolute BEST caramel corn I've ever eaten!

Ladybugs all over the screen!